St Ives & Warboys skipper Jack Haycock has hailed the perfect end to a “crazy” year as his side lifted the Cambs & Hunts Premier League Division One play-off final.
The four-wicket victory over Histon, in a match played at Eaton Socon, was another excellent advert for the league and delighted the California Road-based cricket club.
He said: “It’s been absolutely crazy. Two months ago it looked like there wouldn’t be any cricket so to be here now as the league winners, winning the semi-final and final relatively comfortably, is quite astonishing.
“Having been promoted last year, my expectations were to be competitive in every game and try and push for the play-offs but we’ve even surprised ourselves with our form.
“We have a strong core of 16 to 24-year-olds with a couple of experienced heads so have a very good balance and in Nick Kumpukkal we have someone who can win games on his own.”
As if to prove the point Kumpukkal smashed 26 off his first six balls on his way to 61 not out in just 38 deliveries, a knock containing five fours and four sixes.
Haycock was with him for part of it with the opener hitting 54 and it was Matthew Milner who was with him at the end, returning after his 3-38 earlier in the day.
Matthew Wells also grabbed three wickets, finishing with figures of 3-19, as Histon finished their 40 overs on 158-8.
Haycock said: “The momentum was with us having previously been the only team to beat Histon but we knew how dangerous they can be.
“Massive credit goes to Matt Wells, our 17-year-old fast bowler. He’s barely bowled for a month due to a shoulder injury but changed the game with three quick wickets taking out their middle order.
“We were happy with our bowling performance but it would be a tricky chase on a pitch that was misbehaving and with the scoreboard pressure of a final. The game was in the balance but Nick completely blew them away with some stunning ball striking.
“It was a perfect day with a fantastic amount of support from the whole club really making a difference.”
And now he wants more of the same for next year.
He said: “We’re just getting better and better each game and absolutely love playing with each other. We are realistic in that the league will be tougher next year with overseas players likely to come back and more games to be played but we will be ready for that.
“With an overseas player planned for ourselves and our young players another year older, the ambition has to be to win the league again and push for the East Anglian Premier League.”